Photoshop CC 2015: Healing brush problem

  • 87
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
Healing brush is not working as good as in the past. It creates much more smudges. I also get an little white border around my retouches when retouching on an other layer.
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Bram Declercq

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Posted 5 years ago

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Tim Lawrence

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Adobe please revert back to the old healing brush tool. There were a few things that you had to watch out for when using it but with practice and skill you could achieve flawless results with it. In my mind you've changed something that really didn't need changing. It's a completely useless tool now.

Anything other than a single point sample and you get these white lines. Plus it seems much worse at sampling both the source texture and the target colour tones.
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Brittany Cascardo

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Very true! I need the old one back.
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Dillon P B

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Yea, I need it like last week. I goto twerk ya know.
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9 Stitches Images

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To keep it in perspective, the idea of a "live" healing brush is great, but either the implementation needs work, or the technology (GPU) isn't quite up to the task yet. It's actually perfectly usable under certain circumstances (no complex texture or transparency, and in fairly homogenous regions).

It seems what would serve all users best is a toggle between the new and old versions, like how the content aware patch tool didn't replace the old one, or how the "protect tones" option didn't do away with the old dodge and burn tools. Since only a small handful of us are complaining, the new version probably suits average users just fine.

That said, those of us who depend on Photoshop to be... well, Photoshop - adding features, not taking them away - need functioning tools, even if that means downgrading. :/
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Peter Sønder Hansen

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Yes please let us have the option of choosing between the old style healing brush and the new one. When working with it I felt like the new healing brush - in some strange way - didn't do what I wanted. When wanting to "duplicate" some pixels to a blemish it ( cc 2015 healing brush) kind of did it in its own way and kept working on the blemish and ended up making the result worse than before!?! Just imagine how many images that are out there having been printed and published with healing brush screw ups!!! Come again Adobe, when launching a new smart tool like healing brush cc 2015 please double double double check it before sending it out and getting us all in trouble.
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Nick West

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Joel, while I agree the option of switching between the new and old healing brush would be a good idea (if the new one worked and was superior) but I'm failing to see any circumstance where the new one is 'perfectly usable'.

Also I hardly think it's a 'small handful' of people complaining. There are numerous threads regarding this issue on the Adobe site alone, 29 people have reported it here, 15 on another feedback page and over 600 people have viewed a post regarding the issue on the Adobe forums.

If it ain't broke..
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9 Stitches Images

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Well, I somehow managed to limp along before the healing brush existed, and I have CC 2014 while this gets sorted, so excuse me for not going full chicken little over this. If everyone here insists, I'll sign a petition to demand that Adobe send us all a box of tissues.

And for the record, what percentage of Photoshop users do you think are crippled by this change? When I said "a small handful", I was speaking metaphorically and relatively. I didn't mean I could actually fit them all in my hand. Hope that clears up any confusion.
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Andre Schneider

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Well, let's go back to Photoshop 1 then, they had tools that were great back then also. Or, if you need, go back to PS 3 when they introduced layers and we're good. I'm sorry but Photoshop is a tool that I use every day and that I pay a very good money for it (and have been paying since PS 2.5) and I honestly don't expect to pay to be a beta tester.
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Andre Schneider

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I agree that this is hardly a "handful" of people. I am a photographer and a retoucher and everyone I know that made the update complained about this, and all of us went back to CC 2014. Also there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of retouchers and photographers that didn't get the update because of our posts and warnings on social media and therefore are waiting for a fix in order to do the update and are not hindered by this problem because of that.

It would be great if Adobe gave us an idea of when would this be fixed. I've asked here and on Twitter, with no response. Weeks, months? Years? Will it be like the never-ending problem with saving into a server and loosing files that has been plaguing PS since I don't even remember?
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José Gonçalves

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Really Years????
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Gregory Katsoulis

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José, I'm afraid years is a legitimate concern. Some years ago I reported a repeatable bug in Premiere which cause the entire system (not just Premiere) to crash if the video window was resized during playback. It took Adobe years, quite literally, to address the problem.
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José Gonçalves

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Since there are people with the mentioned issue in PC, your comment about Adobe blaming Apple dosen ́t make any sence.
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Gregory Katsoulis

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Personal attacks are counterproductive. Lets work together towards getting a solution.
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JohnF

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I'd like to add my two cents as well. I've been using Photoshop for about 18 years. The healing brush was one of the most important improvements to my work during that time but the new version is just not usable. It's smudgy and doesn't blend the way it used to. I applaud the forward thinking of the live heal approach and if/when it gets dialed in, it will be another great improvement. But I'm surprised this version made it through as is. This will likely be a deal breaker for many professionals, myself included. I'd gladly trade all the new features that have been added in the last 10 years to have a working healing tool.

Please(!) include the original version of the healing tool no matter how the live version progresses... I was surprised to find this wasn't an option in the current version.

Thanks to Adobe for at least making it easy to revert to a previous version. Aside from the aforementioned issue, I've been totally pleased with the Creative Cloud across the board...
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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The issues with the real-time healing brush creating artifacts and not working on individual channels should be corrected in the Photoshop CC 2015.0.1 update which was released today. Details here: http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/201...

This document provides a solution to make Photoshop CC 2015 use the original healing brush algorithm: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/...

Note: This is a temporary solution. Our engineering team is working on a longer-term solution with UI controls to better control the look of healing brush results and/or enable the legacy behavior.
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Giuseppe Circhetta

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Path for windows is "[Installation Drive]:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2015\Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 Settings\"

and NOT "C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 Settings\Adobe Photoshop CC Settings\"
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Thanks. I've corrected the path
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Steve Brown

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"Our engineering team is working on a longer-term solution with UI controls to better control the look of healing brush results and/or enable the legacy behavior."

Still waiting for the switch to enable the legacy behaviour Jeffrey...
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Samoreen

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I repeat : why is this topic now appearing in the "Solved" section? Nothing is solved until we get the final update.
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Official Response
The new “Diffusion” slider in Photoshop CC 2015.1 was introduced to allow the new real-time healing brush to produce results very similar to the legacy, non-real-time healing brush in Photoshop CC 2014 or earlier. To achieve a similar result to Photoshop CC 2014 and earlier set the “Diffusion" slider value to 2 or 3.

As a general guideline, low slider values are good for images with grain or fine details while high values are better for smooth images. If you are retouching sharp/detailed/textured/noisy images, we recommend starting with “Diffusion" slider value of 2 or 3 as a starting point. The diffusion slider is available for healing brush (all Modes except replace), spot healing brush in proximity match mode (all Modes except replace), and patch tool in normal mode. We recommend reviewing Diffusion slider control help page at https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/usi... to familiarize yourself with this new control.

Please let us know if you can not achieve similar result to the old healing after playing with the new “Diffusion Slider”. We want to be clear that there may still be subset of cases that the old algorithm perform better while the new algorithm will perform better on most images. We welcome constructive criticism and will be happy to look at any particular case that is not working for you.

We will need a psd file along an action recording of your stroke so we can reproduce the result on our side. Please make sure you have “Allow Tool Recording” on for the action and to activate the brush panel at the beginning of your recording to save the brush state.

We also like to get some feedback on whether there is a strong desire for automating the diffusion slider based on the content.

If you need to go back to the old healing algorithm or interactive feedback for healing brush, please see this document: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/...

Please note: The new algorithm is purely a CPU based algorithm and does not use GPU at all. Playing with enable/disable “Use Graphics Processor” in Photoshop’s preference will not change the results.
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Jonathan Rice

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Adobe,

As a life-long Photoshop and Illustrator user, and a devout InDesign user, I rely on your products DAILY to produce work for my clients. I've always found your products and service the best in the business, but with this one issue, along with the recent switch over to monthly subscription plans, I am wondering what is going on in Adobe's core management and culture.

Please, just acknowledge that the issue with the healing brush is real. Admit that the new brush with slider, does NOT produce the same quality of results as the old, and that these new results are inferior to the old for many of your customers. And that new process is more difficult than the old.

Please, give us the "legacy tool" as a selection versus a coding run-around. I have yet to upgrade to the latest photoshop, because I got the next to last version to work with your work around patch. But I shouldn't have to continue doing this.

I must admit, I was excited by the idea of new updates on a 3 or 4 month basis, versus waiting 18 months for the new version to come out, but realistically, I can do my job better with tools I can depend on — not the latest gimmicks that a company is using to justify it's new payment model.

Please, admit your shortcomings and tell us you are working on a solution that we will love. That would be good PR. Doing nothing and ignoring the issue is just hurting your once stellar reputation.

With respect,

Jonathan
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Brian Moore

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@Chris Cox

Your problem would be solved almost instantaneously if the rest of the moderators of this specific thread Jeffrey Tranberry, Brett N, and Sohrab would respond to what people have been saying the past few months.

All I have seen the past few months is my comment and many many many many many other peoples comments here continue to be ignored.
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Stephan Bollinger

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So - perhaps stupid question - with all the (very obvious) feedback, is there a change coming any time soon? I won't be diving into the complaining, all I want is to get the job done. Problem is - from all the major features of photoshop, as a high-end beauty photographer, the healing brush is one of my most used tool every single day, and the current state is - to say it nicely - limiting and annoying (if not handicapping) my work, my outcome, my business.

So - please Adobe - you got the code - link it in and give us an option. Make it a silent release if you want, a hidden feature, I don't care, as long as it "just works".
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Steve Brown

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Hi Stephan,

For the time being you can revert to CC 2014 or use the config file workaround provided by Sohrab here https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/...
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Stephan Bollinger

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Cheers Steve. I'm aware of the workaround, however this can't be the solution. In some cases, you want to use the "power" of the new tools, in other cases you don't, this depends on the image and I can't see why we should pick one over the other. A simple switch (and then a keyboard shortcut for it) and everyone is happy (and we can get our work done in the best looking and most efficient way)
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Steve Brown

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Agreed. Wasn't sure if you were aware of the workaround or not :)
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Dennison Bertram

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GOOD LORD PEOPLE! My Inbox has blown up over the weekend. @Chris Cox @Adobe Just give these people the option to choose. PLEASE. For heavens sake, it's not even important anymore if the brush is "improved" or not. People want both so give them the option to choose.

ANALOGY:

Photoshop is like a lover (Good lord most of us probably spend more time time with Photoshop than our true flesh and blood companions). And retouching is like making love. In this case, we had our old lover, the one we spent years with, the one that got love handles, wrinkles, and imperfections. We were used to her (or him) and now for some reason, unexpectedly, we broke up and now we have a NEW lover. Bigger this or that. Sexier this or that. And it's fantastic. It's new. It's better in bed. Younger. No wrinkles. No love handles. Firm. It's a new girlfriend/boyfriend. But the truth of the matter is some people aren't going to care that the new lover is younger/hotter/sexier, we miss our old lover. The one we stayed up late nights carefully adjusting our pressure sensitivity with and making actions just the way we liked it. We miss the love handles and saggy parts. The imperfections.

Get it?

Thank you for improving photoshop, of course it's amazing. But for those of us with a relationship with the old photoshop- well, we love new things, but not at expense of all the old ones. So please, just give us a chance to choose.
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Stefano Brunesci

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Dear Adobe,

This situation is completely ridiculous!

You've added a new tool (maybe good, maybe not) but also taken away a tool that professional photographers and retouchers rely on for their business and have been using for many years.

Sure, there may have been some issues with the 'legacy' tool - it certainly wasn't perfect and did tend to pick up 'bleed' from edges pretty easily - but we were all aware of that and knew how to use the tool to get the results we wanted.

I've tried the new tool with the 'diffusion slider' and while it does a reasonable job most of the time - and does indeed allow you to heal closer to edges, which is nice - the problem for me is that it's not the same as the old tool and the results are IMHO less useful, even after spending (wasting) a lot of time messing with the diffusion slider.

So, what to do?

Clearly the code for the old tool is still there, accessible via the annoying config file hack, so what on earth is your real objection to providing a way to select it via a switch in the UI (as you have done with many new tools over the years)?

I hope you realise that professional photographers and retouchers - the people who pay your wages, by the way - are really massively disappointed with this situation and in many cases, myself included, have reverted to CC 2014 to avoid having to deal with the new healing brush (and other issues).

Looking forward to a speedy resolution of this issue (ie. a switch in the UI to allow me to choose which tool I'd prefer to use).

Thanks in advance
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com
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Paul Parkinson

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Oh dear. Adobe relying on metrics for customer feedback again? This is the same issue which got you into so much trouble with the dogs dinner that was the last release of Lightroom!!

Please. Listen now. We want to option to choose. It's not difficult to understand. There are many ways to achieve results for different things in PS but this doesn't apply here. It's like driving along a road and you have to choose the left fork or the right fork. Except with Adobe you can't. It's always the left fork
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Chris Cox

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Why do you want the option?
What exactly is wrong with the new tool?
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Joe Black

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We just do, what's wrong with that? It's part of our workflow Chris
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Chris Cox

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We cannot justify the cost involved without a good reason. There might be a real problem - but we don't know, because you have not shown us what problem you are seeing.
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Jack

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It has been stated to you on multiple occasions what is wrong with the new tool. It has been shown to you with photos for a side by side comparison what is wrong with the new tool. You have been given actions you refuse to accept, what is wrong with the new tool. You have been given an insane amount of statements what is wrong with the new tool. All of these things have been repeatedly given to you. Stop saying you need evidence, when you have had countless evidence handed to you, and you refuse it.
The new tool doesn't work like the old tool - the old tool PROPERLY smoothed out whatever it is we're using it for. Flawlessly. The new tool is not doing that. You have been given photo samples of this. More than once. How many other explanations and unhappy customers do you need to convince you? This has been an ongoing battle for how long now, obviously the new tool is not working to the capacity it needs to for a lot of people. Your stubbornness to accept that does not make the new tool suddenly amazing and work properly. You have wasted more time and energy battling this than you would have, had you and your team done what was promised months ago and allow users to use the old version. Why allow users to use old versions of updated tools for everything else except this? There are enough people here telling you the new tool is not functioning properly. Whether or not you claim it fixes "bugs" from the previous one, it does not smooth things out cleanly. It blotches them, it leaves lines. Any amount of "dithering" doesn't help. You managed to put a dither in, how are you able to fit that magically into the UI, but giving the option to switch back to the original tool, which has been part of the program for how long, is now an issue.
What insane amount of grief and displeasure is this REALLY going to cause you to just listen to the swarm of customers asking for this back?
I have a feeling no amount of "evidence" will please you, because no amount of evidence has been good enough for you yet.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, except we haven't seen such problems. That is why we are asking for examples - so we can see what you are seeing, because obviously you are seeing something different from what we see. We don't know exactly what you are seeing, because you are not showing us what you are seeing.
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David Converse

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I have not done any controlled, side-by-side tests of the old brush and the new. However, my sense of the new brush from the first time I used it was that it was more difficult to avoid blotchy, smudged results.

I retouch auto parts at my day job and both landscapes and skin at home. I've been a Photoshop user since version 2.5 and I've retouched thousands of images, so I think I have some experience to draw upon.

The new brush isn't a disaster but I don't see it being much of an improvement, either.

The bigger concern for me is the direction of product management. Hiding Save For Web, the new flat UI, the Import debacle in Lightroom, the recent metadata bug on Windows 7, the focus on integration with mobile (which many of us don't need), the continued UI problems in Lightroom, the subscription-only purchase model... these are just some examples of changes that seem to be made with everyone but the end users in mind.

I'm sure you've noticed. I've been in IT a long time, as well as being a long-time creative, and I get that some people will always gripe about changes. But the general trend I'm seeing from Adobe isn't good.

Have Adobe's executives noticed what is going on? Adding and improving features is good IF you don't make things worse or kill off established workflows and habits for no reason.

IMHO you are getting about a C- for product management in the last couple of years. Quit making bad decisions and start making better product changes if you must do so.
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Chris Cox

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We're not seeing "blotchy, smudged" results. So we do need side by side tests/comparisons so we can understand what you are seeing, and figure out why you are seeing different results from what we see.
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Andre Schneider

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Chris, if you're not seeing blotchy results, you guys either need to get your eyes checked or up your image quality control.
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Chris Cox

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That's why we need to see examples of what you are seeing - because we are not seeing such problems in our testing (and we do extensive testing).
Other users also aren't seeing that, so we need to figure out what you are seeing, and why. Don't assume that what you are seeing is the same as what everyone else is seeing.
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Official Response
We would like to thank everyone for voicing your opinions and sharing your feedbacks' with us. We’ll provide a simple way [via some sort of UI mechanism] to revert to the legacy healing brush behavior in the next release.
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Jeremy Voldrich

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Thank you! Can you also make sure to do the same thing with the patch tool? I use the healing brush and patch tool and would like them both to work the way they did in CC2014 without having to use a diffusion slider.
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Florian Hofbauer

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Hasn't a new release come out since your post? I don't see any way to turn on the "old" healing brush.. *confused*
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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It will be included in Photoshop 17 which will be released around May/June.
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eartho, Champion

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oh gosh, not again! Please tell your marketing department to fix this versioning insanity! You're releasing Photoshop CC2016v17??? Just call it CC2016 and be done with it. Do they know how confusing it is when you're trying to figure out what version someone is using? 

"Hi Sohrab, i'm using Ps16 and i have a question..." Wait eartho, is that v16 or CC2016???
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Sohrab Amirghodsi, Employee

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Hi Eartho, I will pass on your comment to our product management team. The Photoshop 16.x is CC 2015.x.